July 5, 2017 Written by

Did you know North Carolina is home to more than 250 waterfalls along with miles of hiking trails? Popular hiking trails to waterfalls near Highlands, N.C. are easy to find in the surrounding mountains. The area is known for mountain hikes and waterfalls are main attractions among visitors to the region. Many of the trails and waterfalls offer picturesque, one-of-a-kind views. So it’s time to lace up your hiking shoes, grab a camera and get up close with nature.

As your journey begins in Highlands, make your way to Fourth Street, which is US 64 and designed as the Waterfalls Byway and the Mountain Waters Scenic Byway. The scenic drives offer a variety of options for beginners to more experienced hikers. And those who would rather forego hiking all together but want to see waterfalls won’t be left out of the fun.

Make A Quick Trip To The Falls

If time is short during a visit to Highlands but you want to have a moment in nature, add a stop at Dry Falls high on the list of things to do. The half-mile trail in the Nantahala National Forest allows visitors to go behind the waterfall without getting wet, hence the name Dry Falls.

In addition to Dry Falls, there are a number of hiking trails leading to a waterfall near Highlands in the Nantahala National Forest.

A popular spot is Bridal Veil Falls which requires little or no walking. The site has the distinction of being the only waterfall in the state where visitors can remain in their vehicle and drive behind.

The Cullasaja Falls, about nine miles outside of Highlands, is only visible by car.


Popular hiking trails to waterfalls near Highlands, N.C. are plentiful. Map out which one will get you the best views of waterfalls.

Popular Hiking Trails to Waterfalls

For hiking enthusiasts, getting to the waterfalls is a great way to get some exercise and see spectacular views. The trail leading to Silver Run Falls is described as easy, likely easy for beginner hikers. The trail takes hikers to the base of the falls.

A more experienced hiker may be ready for the challenge of the steep trail leading to Glen Falls. A trio of waterfalls, each with a 60-foot drop, makes up Glen Falls. There is also Ranger Falls which is a part of the Ranger Falls Loop Trail. The hike to this waterfall is uphill and may be better suited for more experienced hikers. The trail goes beyond the waterfall and loops back to the starting point.

Waterfall Swimming

There are a number of waterfalls in the region that are popular as swimming sites. The list includes Bust Your Butt Falls also known as Quarry Falls, along with Secret Falls also known as Big Shoals Falls.  You’ll have to hike a little to reach both waterfalls in order to enjoy a dip in the cool water.

Visitors can reach a host of other popular hiking trails and waterfalls within a short distance of Highlands, N.C.

Be sure to check with our staff for recommendations to the best hiking trails to see some of the most spectacular waterfalls in North Carolina.

After a day exploring hiking trails and waterfalls near Highlands, recharge for the next adventure here at The Park On Main Hotel. Many of our suites provide breathtaking views of the mountains to inspire the next hike. While visiting Highlands learn about a number of other local attractions to enjoy. Be sure to contact us and make reservations to come hike to the waterfalls.



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About The Park on Main

The Park on Main hotel is located in the quaint village of Highlands, North Carolina, a picturesque mountain retreat nestled in the Southern Appalachian Mountains. A boutique style hotel, the Park on Main offers 24 luxury suites, each facing an exquisitely landscaped central park-like garden terrace.

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